Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's goal and ongoing challenge is to operate the safest health care facilities possible for patients and staff.

To maintain that focus, the health care system conducts mandatory operations briefings for heads of clinical and nonclinical departments every morning, including weekends. The calls inform all departments about any current or potential operational issues that could affect patient or staff safety, says Tom Kinman, vice president of facilities management at the medical center.

The briefings, which generally last about 25 minutes, provide an opportunity for department heads to share important information about situations that may affect safety within the system.

For example, when staff perform electrical work or test generators, other departments are informed about the work, says Jim Burger, assistant vice president of facilities management at Cincinnati Children's. "The imaging department would actually shut down the MRIs because of some of the work we were doing," Burger says. "This allows the imaging and radiology departments to perform controlled and orderly shutdowns and reliable startups."

"The daily briefing is probably the (best) single thing we have done to basically keep everybody connected as to what is important and what we need to do to mitigate certain situations when we run into them," Kinman says.